The Tunnel at the End of the Light

The treadmill of Doctor Who Production meant there was always something of a lag effect from when a story was commissioned to when it was made, and if the production team was in transition at the time, as was the case during Season 15, the differing sensibilities between the two show up in the final product.  This was the case three times for Tom Baker.  The redoubtable Robert Holmes may have been the script editor during Baker’s first year, Season 12, but Terrance Dicks’ fingerprints can still be felt, especially early on.  A much more abrupt tonal change also occurred for Season 18 when CH Bidmead took over script editing.  Meglos and Logopolis couldn’t have been further apart, except by the calendar, where only four months separated them.

Season 15 had a similar hangover between Holmes and incoming editor Anthony Read. and the result was less schizophrenic, but noticeable nonetheless.  Image of the Fendahl and this weeks cap addition Horror of Fang Rock bore many of the gothic hallmarks and would have fit well into the two previous seasons whereas the rest, even The Sun Makers which was written by Holmes, were quite different.

Horror of Fang Rock, set as it was almost entirely in a small confines of a lighthouse, is meant to be claustrophobic and director Paddy Russell does her best not to cheat in terms of camera angles.  Great for developing an atmosphere but somewhat more problematic for the Classic Capitology team.  Lots of repetition.  So the cap yield for a four-part story isn’t a big as usual but still a big improvement of previous Tour content.

Classic Capitology feels a bit of a chill coming on next time.  Better not lose your skirt.